Lights dazzle at Lincoln School Laser program offers fun with educational incentives

Students at North Bergen’s Lincoln School had their auditorium transformed last week into a laser light show that addressed topics from popular music to the American space program.

The show, “American Pride,” was viewed by kids in pre-K through eighth grade. The Parent Teachers Association paid for the $1,000 event through fundraising activities.

Popular music like Rihanna’s “Umbrella” was accompanied by lasers shining on the stage and ceiling, along with educational segments about American history.

One portion of the show focused on the American space program, with lasers portraying Alan Shepard’s first flight into space in 1961. Lasers depicted a rocket launch while John F.

Kennedy’s speech played in the background. The light show also discussed the future possibility of living on other planets.

“They were learning while being entertained,” said Principal Arleen McGowan last week. “It makes everything a little clearer when you see it up front and not just from reading a book. It comes alive with dazzling color.”

“The kids loved it and they were a really good audience,” said Vice Principal Eddie Narucki. The show had “modern motifs” that reached out to every child, said McGowan.

The program was shown three times that day, differing slightly for each age group.

Proud to be an American

Another segment concerned the many occupations that enable America to operate, with images showing truck drivers, waitresses, and police officers. The song “Proud to be an American” played in the background.

McGowan said that the show enabled teachers to springboard ideas from the show to the classroom. She said that the “cross-curriculum” show could be elaborated on in social studies, art, or science.

Teacher Inaya Jaafar was impressed.

“I thought it was awesome,” said Jaafar. “The kids loved it and I thought it was great on any level.”

The show’s maestro, Norberto Cancel, said that he was glad to be finally able to finally do a light show in North Bergen, where he lives.

“I usually do this show in suburbs and other areas that are a little bit more remote,” said Cancel. “That’s where they can afford this show, normally.”

Cancel, who has a son at Franklin School, said that the show speaks for itself. The kindergarten students walked past him stating that they “loved” it.

‘We can make a difference’

Lincoln school’s relatively small PTA said that they had raised funds through a Yankee Candle sale, and through member Maria Pimiento, a photographer who offered spring portraits of students last year.

Pimiento, a professional photographer, offered her services to the PTA free of charge so that they could “create some money.”

PTA President Rekha Davé said that she saw the show at a convention last year and thought that she had to bring it to the students here.

“We’ve never done something like this in this school,” said Davé. “The PTA has kind of been resurrected after a couple of years, and so we’re trying to get in there and start off fresh and new and get some more involvement by the parents.”

Davé thought the show was timely, since it fell near three holidays: Constitution Day, the upcoming presidential election, and Veterans Day.

She had also reached out to the Fulton School, which has a fledgling PTA and ran the show last spring.

“[We want] the parents to see that we can make a difference,” said PTA Vice President Millie Cardoza.

The PTA’s budget is currently about $2,300, but Cardoza said with more parental involvement, more programs of this nature could take place at the school.

The next PTA meeting at Lincoln school is tentatively planned for Oct. 9, and a flyer will be sent home to students.

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